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The original item was published from 11/16/2023 2:23:13 PM to 11/16/2023 2:27:14 PM.

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Posted on: November 16, 2023

[ARCHIVED] More than $13 million in springs restoration funding projects announced for North Florida

LIVE OAK, FLA., NOVEMBER 16, 2023 – On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that seven springs restoration projects with the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) will receive approximately $13.5 million to aid in the recovery and protection of Florida’s springs.

This funding is part of $57.5 million announced for statewide projects identified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and Florida’s water management districts. The 23 total projects can be found here

“With more than 450 springs in the Suwannee River Water Management District, the seven funded projects for our District are truly beneficial to restoring and protecting these important water resources,” said Hugh Thomas, executive director of the District. “We are thankful to Gov. DeSantis, our legislature, and the Department of Environmental Protection for their continued commitment to protecting our environmental assets and addressing the needs of our communities.” 

Local projects included for funding are: 

  • Bobwhite Sandhill Land Acquisition – Suwannee County – $622,000 – This 622-acre conservation easement acquisition will help preserve the Troy Peacock Lafayette Blue Falmouth Springshed and benefit the Suwannee Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP). This project and funding request is with the Alachua Conservation Trust. 
  • Hornsby Horse Pasture Land Acquisition – Alachua County – $190,575 – This 99-acre conservation easement in the Columbia Hornsby Treehouse Priority Focus Area contains five sinks and will support aquifer recharge efforts near Mill Creek. This project and funding request is with the Alachua Conservation Trust.
  • Suwannee River Sandhill Land Acquisition – Suwannee County – $300,000 – This 630-acre conservation easement acquisition consists of sandhill, wetlands, and restorable uplands in the Troy Peacock Lafayette Blue Falmouth Springshed and provides high recharge to the Floridan Aquifer.  This project and funding request is with the Alachua Conservation Trust.
  • Poe Springs Addition Land Acquisition – Alachua County – $1.6 million – Funding for this project will partially pay for the acquisition and restoration of 250 acres of uplands adjacent to Poe Springs. This funding provides a match to the Alachua County Forever Program to secure conservation land for recharge in support of the Santa Fe River Minimum Flows and Minimum Levels and the Santa Fe Basin Management Action Plan with potential for passive recreation in the future.
  • High Springs Wetlands Phase 2 – Alachua County – $3 million –This funding request with the City of High Springs is to expand the current wastewater treatment facility and complete the creation of infiltrative wetlands to benefit water quality for Poe Spring and surrounding groundwater.
  • Greenville Sewer System Improvements – Town of Greenville – $4.2 million – This multi-year project was initially funded during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. This funding is provided for the next phase of the project.
  • Fanning Springs Wastewater System Expansion – City of Fanning Springs – $3.6 million – This multi-year project was initially funded in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. This funding is provided for the next phase of the project. 

The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties. 

For more information about the District, visit www.MySuwanneeRiver.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter

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